In House Exhibition goes on display at Abbey Road Studios

By Tríona Doherty

Athlone Town Council is operating a lucrative paid parking system, with a profit of almost €240,000 in 2011, in spite of the news this week that 18 local authorities are losing money on their parking services.

It emerged this week that one in three local authorities are spending more on operating paid parking than they are taking in, and that several town and county councils are under pressure to scrap paid parking altogether.

However, there is little likelihood of Athlone Town Council going down this road, as the council earned €238,903 in 2011 from paid parking.

Figures from the town council’s budget for 2012 reveal that the council spent €212,097 on operating the parking system in 2011, which includes the maintenance and management of car parks and pay-and-display machines, and expenditure on traffic wardens. However, they took in a total of €451,000 in parking charges and parking fines, resulting in the surplus of €238,903.

Elsewhere in Westmeath, Mullingar generated a surplus of €560,000 in 2011 from paid parking.

Reports this week revealed that 10 county councils including Galway, Kerry, Cork, and Donegal, and eight town councils including Ballinasloe, Carrickmacross, and Letterkenny ran loss-making parking services in 2011.

Ballinasloe Town Council, for example, spent almost €325,000 on parking last year but took in just €252,000.

The biggest deficit was in Kerry, where the county council spent over €620,000 but only collected €79,000.

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